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McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City head coach Nick Stiles has made two changes to his starting side to take on the Melbourne Rising in Round 2 of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship this Saturday.
Captain Liam Gill has been released from the program for the week to play for the Barbarians against Samoa in London and has been replaced by GPS flanker Waita Setu. Centre Karmichael Hunt is also unavailable for selection this week due to a personal family matter. In his place is returning Easts centre Toby White, who featured heavily for Brisbane City in 2014. Scrumhalf Nick Frisby will captain the side in Gill’s absence.
Stiles has also made three changes to the bench, with club Rugby players Matt Mafi (Brothers), Ben Hyne (Brothers) and Michael Richards (GPS) all getting their first opportunities of the 2015 season.
Stiles said his side was looking forward to backing up its opening round performance with a strong showing against the Rising.
“I was pleased with a lot of aspects from last week’s win over Perth, but there’s obviously still a lot to work on and we’ve focussed on that this week,” he said.
“The Rising are a strong team and they too opened the competition with a win, so we expect a fiercely competitive match in Melbourne this weekend. They’ve got a lot of Rebels players in their squad and we know they’ll be hard at the breakdown and in the collisions and we’ve got to embrace that challenge.
“Liam was outstanding for us last week, but he’s been presented with a great opportunity to challenge himself and showcase his talents for the Barbarians on the international stage this weekend. He’ll be better for that experience and so will Brisbane City and the Reds in the long run.
“His absence also provides an opportunity for Waita (Setu) to step up into a starting role and that’s what this competition is all about – providing a pathway for players and building the depth of talent in Rugby in Queensland and Australia.”
This weekend’s match will see Brisbane City and Melbourne Rising contest the Horan-Little Shield, an initiative similar to New Zealand’s provincial Ranfurly Shield.
Launched by Australian Rugby Union ahead of the 2015 NRC season, the Horan-Little Shield is currently held by the Rising, as they were minor premiers in 2014. Whoever holds the Shield must put it up for challenge at every home fixture and the team holding the Shield at the end of the regular season will have its name engraved on it.
Brisbane City play Melbourne Rising at Harlequins Rugby Club in Melbourne this Saturday at 2:00pm. The match will be streamed live at www.foxsports.com.au.
QRU has also created a unique opportunity around the Brisbane City v NSW Country Eagles fixture at Ballymore Stadium on Sunday 20 September – when it will attempt to break the World Record for the World’s Largest Scrum. Fans can head to www.thescrum.net.au to be involved.
McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City team to play Melbourne Rising
1. Pettowa Paraka – Reds/Easts
2. Andrew Ready – Reds/Easts
3. Sam Talakai – Reds/GPS
4. Corey Thomas - GPS
5. Cadeyrn Neville – Reds/Manly
6. Luke Beauchamp - Brothers
7. Waita Setu - GPS
8. Scott Higginbotham – NEC Green Rockets
9. Nick Frisby (C) – Reds/GPS
10. Jake McIntyre – Reds/Sunnybank
11. Alex Gibbon – Southern Districts
12. Samu Kerevi – Reds/GPS
13. Toby White - Easts
14. Chris Kuridrani – Reds/GPS
15. Junior Laloifi - Sunnybank
16. Matt Mafi - Brothers
17. Markus Vanzati - Souths
18. Feao Fotuaika - Sunnybank
19. Ben Hyne - Brothers
20. Michael Richards - GPS
21. Tim Smith - Wests
22. Henry Taefu - Sunnybank
23. Mika Tela - Souths
16 FEBRUARY 2019